Dr Lauren White
BA (Hons), MA, PhD
Department of Sociological Studies
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Full contact details
Department of Sociological Studies
Lauren currently holds an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship titled, ‘Everyday life with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Mobilities, accessibility and belonging’. This fellowship centres on developing her PhD which explored the everyday experiences of those living with the common health condition, IBS. She is a sociologist interested in everyday life, creative qualitative research methods and the sociology of health and illness. Lauren’s research is often interdisciplinary in nature and spans geography, urban studies, and disability studies.
As part of her research, she is also particularly interested in the socio-political dimensions of everyday toilet access. Most recently, Lauren has been developing research into the inequalities of toilet access for mobile workers, including couriers and food delivery drivers.
Lauren strives for a public sociology and is driven by public engagement and impact. This is demonstrated by her close work with national charities and media outlets from her PhD. In 2017, Lauren won the national ESRC writing prize ‘Making Sense of Society’ for communicating her research to broader audiences. More recently, Lauren has secured funding to work with script writers and animators to create an animation based on her research, which is to be released in November 2021 as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.
Elsewhere, Lauren is part of the Wellcome funded enhanced research award, ‘Beers, burgers and bleach: Hygiene, toilets and hospitality in the time of Covid-19’ (with Dr Charlotte Jones, Dr Jen Slater, and Dr Jill Pluquailec). This project is a collaboration with academics, hospitality workers and trade unions who are responding to the changing circumstances of hospitality in the pandemic. This project is exploring the labour involved in new hygiene routines, with particular attention on the cleaning and monitoring of toilets, and the impact that this has had upon those working within the sector.
Prior to her current fellowship, Lauren worked as a teaching associate within the department and has previously held a research post working with Dr Kate Weiner on the Leverhulme funded project ‘Tracking ourselves?’ which explored the everyday experiences of self-monitoring. Lauren holds a first-class honours bachelor’s degree in sociology, a master’s degree in Social Research with distinction, and a PhD in Sociology, all from the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield.
- Research interests
- Sociology of everyday life
- Sociology of health and illness
- Creative qualitative methods
- ‘I have to know where I can go’: mundane mobilities and everyday public toilet access for people living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Social & Cultural Geography.
- Book Review: Charlotte Bates, Vital Bodies: Living with Illness. Qualitative Research, 20(1), 121-123.
- That Girl's Got Guts: Relationships and Everyday Life for Women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Reinvention: a Journal of Undergraduate Research, 9(2).
- My dear diaries: Following, valuing and affinities to research materials.. Qualitative Research.
- Solidarity through routine : relations and rhythms of regular lockdown walks.
- Bumble Bees and Creativities: Methodological Musings on the Methods for Change Showcase Event.
- Our lockdown walks: Physically, but not socially, distanced walking as method.
- Living and Looking for Lavatories - Why Researching Relief is so Relevant.
- Teaching interests
Lauren is not currently teaching but will be offering guest lectures and has previously taught on the following modules:
- The Sociological Imagination
- Sociology of Everyday Life
- Doing Social Research
- Introduction to Qualitative Research
- Advanced Qualitative Research
- The Sociology of Health, Illness and Medicine
- Digital Health
Lauren has also supervised BA and MA dissertations on a diversity of sociological topics.